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The D.C. Area’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm

How Pedestrian Accidents Occur

Lewis & Tompkins is an injury law firm based in Washington, D.C., that offers experienced and dedicated legal help to those who have been injured due to no fault of their own. We help those injured in pedestrian accidents receive fair compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the law offices of Lewis & Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.

The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is known for many things, the most obvious being that it is the seat of our federal government. It is also unfortunately known for the high number of cars and the inevitable traffic that goes with them.

In any situation where there is a lot of cars and pedestrians occupying the same general area, pedestrian accidents are bound to occur. This is an unfortunate reality of living in Washington, D.C.

Accidents in which pedestrians are struck by cars can only really have two causes: Either the accident happens due to the fault of the driver or the accident happens due to the fault of the pedestrian. Here are some of the more common reasons for both.

Accident Caused By Pedestrians

  • Ignoring traffic signals: Those “Walk/Don’t Walk” signs don’t always seem to be accurate, but they are actually timed to give pedestrians just enough time to get from one end of the intersection to the other. You should always make sure that you start walking as soon as the signal changes, and never start when the signal starts blinking. Once it starts this means that there isn’t enough time for you to get across safely.
  • Jaywalking: It is never a good idea to cross in the middle of the street. Even if it is inconvenient, even if it costs you a few minutes, the crosswalks exist to get pedestrians from one block to another. The roads belong to the cars.
  • Children and Parents: Children have a tendency to run into traffic without thinking about what could be out on the street. Parents, who are actually quite mindful of what could be out on the street, have a tendency to run after them. Both scenarios are very dangerous.
  • No Pedestrians: Some roads are built for the sole purpose of cars and cars alone. Highways and access roads come to mind. On each of these types of roads, it is clearly marked that pedestrians are not allowed. Never walk on highways or on roads where it is marked that pedestrians should stay away.

Accidents Caused By Drivers

  • Ignoring a crosswalk: Not every crosswalk is on the corner or clearly marked with lights. A pedestrian always has the right of way in a crosswalk, so drivers should always exercise appropriate concern when they come across one.
  • Not seeing a pedestrian who is already in the crosswalk: Again, crosswalks aren’t always well lit, so always take the appropriate care when approaching one.
  • Ignoring or trying to beat traffic lights: It is never a good idea to run a red light or to try to beat on orange light before it turns red. There is no better way to cause serious injury to a pedestrian than by driving through an intersection at a high rate of speed.
  • Driving under the influence: Harming pedestrians is only one of the things that can go wrong if you get behind the wheel after you have been drinking. Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence is the very height of negligence behind the wheel.
  • Passing a stopped school bus: In case you haven’t noticed, when school buses stop to let passengers on or off, a stop sign comes out of the side. This means you stop. Don’t try to pass. Children are getting on and off and may be passing in front of the bus. Attempting to pass a school bus while it is letting passengers on and off is a very dangerous thing to do.

At Lewis & Tompkins, we dedicate a significant portion of our practice to helping pedestrians who have been injured due to no fault of their own receive fair compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions of a driver, contact Lewis & Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.